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Cryptic Studios turns 20 with Neverwinter & Star Trek Online updates

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Crypitc Studios is turning 20 years old and is celebrating this milestone birthday with updates for two of its biggest games.

It’s not often that a game developer manages to make it 20 years in this business. That makes Cryptic Studios something of a rarity in the gaming world. And they certainly have a lot to celebrate making it this long, so they’ve put together some major updates for two of its biggest games: Neverwinter and Star Trek Online.

Today sees the latest update for Neverwinter, titled Avernus. As the title implies, adventurers wander through the Wastes of Avernus and explore the first layer of the Nine Hells. Players will run into Archdevil Zariel’s old companion, Lulu, who can assist with a locked infernal puzzle box. That is, assuming that she can get her memory back. So take a stroll through Avernus in an effort to jog Lulu’s memory and get back to opening that puzzle box. It’s not as easy as it sounds and, in fact, it’ll prove so difficult that Makos and Mahadi will need to come along for the ride.

Meanwhile, Star Trek Online is about to embark on a different kind of perilous journey. House Divided is that game’s latest update. This will see more than a few familiar faces show up, as players check in on Deep Space Nine’s Martok, who used stolen Federation technology to accidentally send herself through time. Now she’s in the middle of a Klingon war alongside J’Ula, the sister of Star Trek Discovery’s T’Kuvma, and it’s up to players to quell the potential rebellion that seeks to take Mardok down and any chances of peace with the Federation with her.

While both Neverwinter and Star Trek Online are free-to-play, players can find special 20th Anniversary giveaway bundles for each game. The Neverwinter bundle is available now through July 6 and can be claimed by talking to an in-game Rewards Agent. The STO bundle can be picked up in 1 MT in Mudd’s Market in the Zen Store.

For more on Neverwinter’s Avernus update, check out the Neverwinter website. More information on the House Divided update can be found on the Star Trek Online website. Both are up and running right now.

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can’t enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

Source: https://www.shacknews.com/article/118953/cryptic-studios-turns-20-with-neverwinter-star-trek-online-updates

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Evo 2020 canceled after co-founder abuse allegations

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LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 05: Players get ready to compete in the Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2 finals during EVO 2018 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on August 5, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)
Joe Buglewicz via Getty Images

Fighting game tournament Evo 2020 has been canceled after co-founder Joey “Mr. Wizard” Cuellar was accused of assaulting a minor. The esports tournament, which announced in May that it was going online-only in the wake of COVID-19, will now not go ahead. In a tweet, Evo said that it was parting company with Cuellar, who “will no longer be involved with Evo in any capacity.” Co-founder Tony Cannon will now lead the company, “prioritizing greater accountability across Evo, both internally and at [its] events.” 

Ars Technica reports that Cuellar was accused of assault by Mikey “Crackpr0n” Pham while the latter was a teenager. After his story was posted on Twitter, a number of high-profile players and commentators said they would not take part in this year’s tournament. Cuellar subsequently appeared to acknowledge the accusations in a tweet, saying that he has done things he is “not proud of,” and expressed remorse. Shortly after publication, Evo cancelled the event and dismissed Cuellar from his role. 

A number of video game publishers, who partner with Evo to run the tournaments, sought to distance themselves from the event. In a statement, Capcom said that it would not participate, “in light of the recent accusations of misconduct.” NetherRealm, publisher of Mortal Kombat 11, said that it was withdrawing “in solidarity with those who have spoken out against abuse.” Evo has said that refunds will be issued to all players who had already paid to participate, and that an equivalent donation will be made to Project Hope, an organization training healthcare professionals around the world. 

This is the latest in a series of reckonings in the gaming industry rocked by allegations of sexual abuse. Yesterday, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot pledged reform after a number of people came forward to talk about their experiences of harassment and abuse. Similarly, the Twitch community has been confronting a number of high-profile streamers accused of harassment.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/evo-2020-cancelation-120100741.html

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EVO Online canceled & Mr. Wizard to leave company amid sexual misconduct allegations

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Following allegations of sexual misconduct against Joey Cuellar, EVO Online has been canceled and EVO will cut ties with Cuellar. Tony Cannon will be take his place as acting CEO

In the wake of various victims of sexual and toxic abuse and harassment coming forth to speak on their experiences, a bombshell hit today. An accuser came forth with allegations against EVO CEO Joey “Mr Wizard” Cuellar. EVO Onlline has since been canceled, and the EVO organizaiton has announced they will be parting ways with Cuellar as Tony Cannon takes his place as acting EVO CEO.

The matter began when late on July 1, 2020, FGC competitor Mikey “Crackpr0n” Pham posted a detailed account of a 2001 situation in which Joey Cuellar allegedly goaded Pham into showing him his penis, for which Cuellar apparently gave Pham $20. Pham was also reportedly 17 years old at the time of the incident. In the wake of the allegations on July 2, 2020, the EVO organization released a statement announcing that Cuellar had been placed on administrative leave as a third-party investigation was carried out. That was not enough for some. It wasn’t far after that both NetherRealm Studios and Capcom announced they would pulling Street Fighter 5 and Mortal Kombat 11 respectively from EVO Online events.

Cuellar finally spoke to the allegations late on July 2, 2020 as well. He did not deny what he was accused of and instead offered an apology to the fighting game community at large.

“I’m sorry,” Cuellar wrote. “I never meant to hurt anyone. I was young and reckless and did things I’m not proud of. I have been growing and maturing over the past 20 years, but that doesn’t excuse anything. All I have been trying to do is become a better person. Once again, I’m truly sorry.”

Nonetheless, following the accusations and Cuellar’s statement, the EVO organization saw fit to officially begin cutting ties with Mr. Wizard. As Cuellar exits the company, EVO co-founder Tony Cannon will take his place in ongoing operations. EVO Online has also been cancelled and refunds for any purchases made on the event will be processed in the upcoming days.

Accusations against Cuellar come alongside a wave of victims coming out against sexual and toxic abusers across the gaming industry. The Smash Bros competitive scene in particular saw a number of high profile players accused of sexual misconduct, with Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada, Richard “Keitaro” King Jr., D’Ron “D1” Maingrette, and Jason “ANTi” Bates among the names with credible accusations against them. Nairo was dropped from NRG Esports and ANTi has been dropped from T1 following the allegations against them.

EVO finds itself in a sorry state this year. EVO Online was a solid attempt at shifting the competition to a digital format, but as change happens in the industry and victims come forth to share stories, EVO could not find itself outside the wake of accusations. Nonetheless, as Tony Cannon steps in where Cuellar left off, hopefully the marquee fighting game organization and event can become a better, safer place for the community it serves.

TJ Denzer is a player with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. When he’s not handing out beatdowns in the latest fighting games, exploring video game history, or playing through RPGs with his partner, he’s searching for new food and drinks in the constant pursuit of good times with good people inside and outside the South Texas area. You can also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

Source: https://www.shacknews.com/article/119017/evo-online-canceled-mr-wizard-to-leave-company-amid-sexual-misconduct-allegations

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Off-Roading Simulation Game ‘MudRunner’ Is Coming to Mobile as ‘MudRunner Mobile’ This Month with Pre-Orders Now Live on the App Store

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Saber Interactive and Focus Home Interactive brought out MudRunner to consoles and PC back in 2017 as an off-roading simulation game. In MudRunner players were tasked with transporting logs to a destination across various open maps and access to nothing but a map and a compass. Each map played differently and there were also various vehicles. MudRunner Mobile from Focus Home Interactive has gone live for pre-order on the App Store revealing some details for the release and the price alongside a release date. MudRunner Mobile includes 15 open world maps and 16 vehicles. Watch the trailer for the original release below:

MudRunner Mobile releases on July 15th for $5.99. While it does mention in app purchases on the App Store listing, as of this writing, they are limited to a single DLC which is free. I never got around to playing this on any console and it looks like a fun pickup and play experience. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can pre-order MudRunner Mobile on the App Store for iOS here and on Google Play for Android here (not live yet). The store pages even have some screenshots of how the game interface looks for touch. Check out the official website for the game here. Have you played MudRunner or SnowRunner on any platform before?

Source: https://toucharcade.com/2020/07/03/mudrunner-mobile-release-date-price-preorder-ios-android-focus-home-interactive/

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